I have a candy jar that was a gift from my grandmother. I use it to hold dog treats. Initially I felt I wasn’t doing the candy jar justice, then I found out that she had used it for the same purpose. When I gently lift the lid and my dog hears the subtle ring and she goes right to her crate. It’s lovely. Every time I do this I think of my grandma.
I tell you this because I’d like to encourage you to use special objects in your everyday life. I also have a cookbook from my grandmother. I made chicken salad with chunks of apple in it last week. It tasted so familiar. I have a painting on my buffet made by another member of my family and a chalk drawing in another room. I have needlepoints and blankets as well. These objects are in use. They are special and I use them. Sure, I’ve broken a few colored glass bowls from the set and the table that was a wedding present is now remarkably scratched and dirty, but I use them as they were intended.
It seems like so many times we are waiting for the perfect occasion to use the fancy dishes or to have a spare bed to display the special quilt. We save that dress for a special occasion instead of a Saturday dinner with friends or family when honestly the only person who will truly appreciate it is you. But I believe that today is an awesome day and that life is short: wear the dress, use the table, hang up the picture.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the first time to teach your child to make brownies you should use the depression era measuring cup in your cabinet, but maybe the second or third time you take it out and tell her a story about it. And maybe on the twentieth time you use it, it drops and breaks. You will be sad and you will remember the person who gave it to you while you clean it up and you’ll talk and share stories and you will tuck the pieces safely in the trash. But you will have new found memories of using that measuring cup to make brownies and she will remember too. Plus, let’s face it, a measuring cup wasn’t made to sit in a cabinet.